Hermann Neuhaus Prize

The Hermann Neuhaus Prize was launched in 2018. It recognizes excellent postdocs and research group leaders who are conducting research with the potential for application at a Max Planck Institute. It is awarded by the Max Planck Society (MPS) and funded by the Max Planck Foundation (MPF) in memory of the entrepreneur Hermann Neuhaus. Like many excellent scientists, he used his untiring creativity and critical mind to strive constantly for the best. His aim was to shape the future for generations to come. He is the most generous benefactor of the MPF and posthumously received the Harnack Medal, the MPS’s highest accolade.

The prize money is 25,000 euros (20,000 euros are earmarked for research funds, 5,000 euros are for the prize winner´s personal use).


To be eligible to apply, you must

  • be a postdoc or research group leader at a MPI in the Biology and Medicine Section (BMS) or Chemical, Physical and Technical Section (CPTS).
  • conduct research with potential for application.
  • be within 7 years of completing your PhD. This will be extended by any maternity leave(s) or other relevant leaves of absence. Therefore the 7 years do not need to be continuous. Details of these leaves will need to be specified in your CV.

Key dates

  • Application deadline: 15th February 2021
  • Shortlisting: March/April 2021
  • Notification of final winner and all applicants: April/May 2021
  • Prize ceremony: June 2021 at the MPS Annual General Meeting in Berlin

How to apply

  • Fill in the application form
  • Submit it along with the following documents electronically (one PDF-file) to  by 15th February 2021
    • Nomination letter of a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society
    • Essay on your current research and its potential for application, describing how you would use the prize money to develop it (two pages max.)
    • Additional letter of recommendation
    • CV of the nominee
    • Publication list of the nominee

Selection process

  • Applications will initially be reviewed by the MPS General Headquarters to ensure that they meet the criteria above.
  • All eligible applications will be reviewed by the jury consisting of:
    • Dr. Andrea von Drygalski, MPF
    • Prof. Dr. Erin M. Schuman, MPI for Brain Research
    • Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger, MPI for Colloids and Interfaces
  • For the review process, both academic excellence and the persuasiveness of the plans to develop the research’s potential for application play an important role.
  • The successful applicant will be informed in April/May 2020 and invited to the MPS Annual Meeting. All other applicants will receive a notification as well.

Prize Winner


Dr. Jesús Esteban Serrano, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion


Dr. Arjun Chennu, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen

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